PORTLAND, N.Y. (WKBW) — A barn in Portland, New York sustained significant damage from Thursday's storm.
The damage happened while parts of the Southern Tier were under a tornado warning. As of Thursday at 9:00pm, a tornado had not been confirmed by the National Weather Service. Numerous videos have circulated on social media showing a funnel-like activity in the sky over Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties.
Storm damage to a family owned farm here in Portland (about 10mi outside of Fredonia). The owner’s friend tells me no one was hurt and all horses are accounted for. She says the family has owned the farm for 7 years. More tonight at 11 on @WKBW pic.twitter.com/tfaYa6ljN8— Gilat Melamed (@gilat_melamed) July 17, 2020
The roof to the barn was torn, and nearly the whole front lawn was covered in large piles of debris. The property owner's best friend, Sarah Spregue, said this farm means everything to them.
“I mean they’ve built this," Spregue said. "This is their life, and I mean what do you say about this? How do you react to this?”
Spregue said the owner has had the farm for seven years and lives in the house with her boyfriend and two year old soon. She said no one was hurt, and that all horses are accounted for. She added that some birds like peacocks or geese are dead or missing. In addition, she said a whole winter's worth of food is gone.
Neighbors stopped by to help all evening, especially when it came to taking care of the horses. 7 Eyewitness News spoke to one man who's bringing two horses back to his stable in Ripley, New York.
Other parts of Western New York were also subject to heavy rain and up to 400 lightning strikes on Thursday evening. The storm caused flooding in numerous south towns communities, downed power lines, and toppled trees.